This week we officially launched Psych4Schools twice! Two launches to acknowledge staff from several schools who have trialled and supported Psych4Schools across Victoria during the last two years. The week prior Murray also shared the website with primary principals on the south coast of NSW. Milton Public School Principal Mary Lou Barclay who assisted with trialling the site in NSW reported that, ‘the presentation of the resources was terrific and the response from principals was positive’.
The launch was hosted by Caulfield Junior College (CJC) last Wednesday afternoon, and again last night in St Albans Meadows Primary School’s new BER building.
In her speech at the CJC launch, Anne McPhee, Principal of Stonnington Primary School told the audience that anxiety and depression in children was on the rise. She reported that, ‘50% of mental health issues have developed in young people by age 15 years, with anxiety the most common’. She went on to speak of the difficulties teachers face as a result of this:
‘Increasing expectations upon schools, from all areas of society, suggests that teachers need expertise in far more areas beyond improving student learning outcomes … Teachers are trained to be educators, to develop and stimulate and to foster a love of learning in the student. Teachers are not trained to be therapists or counsellors and yet are regularly faced with turbulent issues. Quick, ready to use, targeted information is needed and this new website Psych4Schools provides this.’
Thank you to all who attended and participated in the launches. Special thanks to Tim Douglas, Principal Caulfield Junior College, Anne McPhee, Principal
of Stonnington Primary School, and
Steve Crockford, Principal of St Albans Meadows Primary School for speaking at the launches and for their support of the project.
We would also like to thank all the principals, teachers, psychologists, doctors, speech pathologists, counsellors, other school professionals, editors, web developers, lawyers, and friends and family across Australia who have taken the time to read, re-read and make suggestions for each of our ebooklets, documents and the website. Your support has been invaluable and has contributed to the success of the project and immediate take-up by schools throughout Australia.
The education community is receiving Psych4Schools positively. Already teachers have begun to ask questions and hopefully share ideas via our Member Forum and we look forward to furthering our working relationships with educators and wellbeing professionals like your selves throughout Australia.
Zoe Ganim, Psych4Schools Psychologists